Still smarting from the Camaro ZL1 being trumped the day after it was introduced by a far more powerful Ford Shelby GT500, Chevrolet has thrown down the gauntlet on Ford, asking, “Who’s the Boss?” The 2013 Camaro 1LE resurrects a classic, track-focused COPO number and with it, a potent high-performance muscle car.
While ZL1, Shelby GT500, and Dodge Challenger SRT8 grow beyond the reach of most mortals, such special packages as the 1LE offer exclusivity and brag-worthy performance at a (somewhat) more attainable price. Coming in under $40,000, the Camaro 1LE builds upon the SS by adding suspension and rolling stock.
The stabilizer bars are thicker, the rear-axle half shafts are beefier, and a strut tower brace keeps things solid. It uses ZL1 wheel bearings, toe links, rear shock mounts, high-capacity fuel pump, and additional fuel pickups--for improved fuel delivery during high-cornering. (See our Camaro convertible road test review.)
And key to the maximum, 1g-cornering ability are the ZL1 20 x 10-inch front and 20 x 11-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires.
Like all 2013 SS models, the 1LE uses an electric power steering system that promises more feedback and smart variable effort. Available on SS models, the 1LE features a dual-mode exhaust system that is vacuum actuated to mute sound at low speeds and let the engine roar at high rpm.
The 1LE uses a 6.2-liter, 426-horsepower V-8 matched to a Tremec TR6060-MM6 six-speed manual transmission, with a 3.91:1 final-drive ratio.
To standout from the Camaro crowd, the 1LE is distinguished by a matte-black hood, front splitter and rear spoiler, as well as black-finished 10-spoke wheels. Inside, the 1LE borrows the flat-bottom , suede-trimmed steering wheel and short-throw shifter from the ZL1.
The 1LE sounds exciting, bringing back found memories of the original track-bound 1988 model. We look forward to seeing it in person, and even more so, getting behind the wheel. Remember, if this isn’t hot enough for ya, there’s always the 580-hp ZL1.
Research Chevrolet in our new-car buyer’s guide.